Guest opinion: Milaca E. Free Church Youth Group Mega Meet Fundraiser

By Allie Norvell
Milaca 8th-grader

The Milaca Mega Meet is the world’s largest one-day cross-country meet. This year there were about 150 participating schools and more than 5,900 cross-country runners.
These numbers might even be the biggest numbers in the history of the race. Have you ever seen or been part of the Mega Meet?
Well, I have been part of it. Some of the things that helped me grow while being part of the Mega Meet were learning to do some things I never really did and didn’t know I was capable of doing, being around my Christian peers, and knowing I was helping my family out by being part of the Mega Meet.
Learning to do new things was scary but rewarding in the end. One of the things I didn’t think I could do was selling concessions last year. I was pretty nervous about having to go up to people who wanted to buy something and ask them what they wanted. I was nervous because I’m not very good at talking to people, especially people I don’t know.
This year for the Mega Meet we didn’t sell concessions because the people that run the Mega Meet said it was taking business away from them. Instead, we parked cars.
We used all our church parking, the grass area, and Fairview let us use their parking lot. We also used our bus as a shuttle bus. People would park at the school and pay 50 cents for a one-way ride or a dollar to get dropped off at Highway-Cafe and walk to the golf course and get a ride back to the school. I went up to the cars and collected the $5 from the people when they came to pay for parking. Talking to people, especially strangers, is one of my weak spots. In the end it was so rewarding for me because I did things that I was really sure I couldn’t do, and I learned that I am so much stronger than I think I am.
Another thing I loved was being around my Christian peers.
Sometimes at school I feel like I don’t fit in as well because I’m a Christian. There are some things my peers do that I don’t feel like it’s something I should do.
However, when I’m with my church friends I feel a little better. When we have church things like the Mega Meet I get to be around people that have more of the same beliefs as me. I feel more confident about what I’m doing.
At the Mega Meet, I felt like I belonged; they made me feel welcome.
I also liked working at the Mega Meet because I felt like I was helping my family. The money we earn gets divided up between the people that helps with the parking, concessions, etc. When it’s divided up, it then goes into our accounts for the trips we go on. If we don’t have enough money in our account, or decide not to use the money in our account, we have to pay the money out of pocket.
Sometimes the trips are a little pricey, so it helps if I participate in some of the things we get money for.
Overall, participating in the Mega Meet really helped me grow as a person. I overcame some of my discomfort with having to talk to people I didn’t know. I felt comforted with my sense of belonging with my Christian group of peers. Also, I felt like I was contributing to my family’s budget.
I feel like everyone should watch or somehow be a part of the Mega Meet. I look forward to helping with the Mega Meet for years to come.